B.C. wolves running out of places to hide

There are new plans to kill an estimated 184 wolves living in British Columbia before the snow melts

Logo for Wolf Awareness Inc.

Logo for Wolf Awareness Inc.

To the editor;

B.C.’s grey wolves, canis lupus, are running out of places to hide.  There are new plans to kill an estimated 184 wolves living in British Columbia before the snow melts.  Whole packs will be chased by helicopters until they are exhausted, and then shot under the guise of recovering  dwindling caribou herds in the South Selkirk and South Peace areas.

Caribou are in this situation because of us, not because of wolves.  The province has allowed energy and recreation industries to destroy critical caribou habitat, facilitating predation by wolves which would otherwise be less able to access remote caribou herds.  Despite scientific consensus  on the interaction between habitat destruction and predation, the government allowed destructive activities to continue for more than 50 years.

As a consequence of our neglect, we are left in a conservation dilemma: is it appropriate to kill one species in the name of legal protection of another? The answer to this question is simpler than the overall solution – critical habitat must be preserved in the first place.

The public deserves to be informed about how their tax dollars are being spent, to what end, and for how long.  The public deserves to know how B.C.’s iconic apex predators are treated and how our wildlife and wild places are consistently coming in second place to short-sighted industrial greed. To that end, we outline the critical flaws of B.C.’s death sentence for wolves:

This choice is scientifically unsound. This is not the first time aerial gunning and sterilization of wolves has occurred in B.C. All past efforts have failed to increase caribou numbers. Similar efforts to protect caribou in Alberta resulted in almost 1000 wolves being killed, and research shows that it is not enough to render caribou populations viable in the long-term.

Wolf populations rebound quickly and dispersing wolves fill in the vacant space created following wolf removal – the killing must continue on taxpayer dollars for many decades until habitat recovers naturally. Furthermore, most caribou herds live in multi-predator environments that also support bears, mountain lions, wolverines and lynx.  Focussing on removing a single type of predator will not be effective.

This is a question of animal welfare. In recent decades we have learned more about the true nature of wolves as emotional and intelligent beings, and their unique and beneficial impacts on biodiversity. Are we as a society prepared to spend the next thirty or more years  gunning down families of wolves?   This practice is not an approved method under Canada’s current guidelines on Approved Animal Care.

This is an expensive, short-sighted approach to caribou recovery.  Hiring sharp-shooters and flying  them around remote B.C. in helicopters in order to destroy entire wolf packs will take hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. It is morally indefensible that taxpayers are paying for the government’s neglect of wildlife. Do B.C. residents want their money spent on helicopters, or ecological restoration, education, health care, etc.?

Although more than a decade of sterilization and wolf killing eliminated nearly all of the wolves in certain caribou recovery areas, the B.C. Wolf Management plan (April 17, 2014) states that these efforts, did not result in any measurable benefits for caribou. The threat of losing legally protected species such as mountain caribou highlights an important lesson to be learned by the B.C. government: ethical and effective conservation should never come second to the interests of industry.

Environmental groups remain concerned that current wolf management lacks a truly ecological foundation.  Many argue that both ethical considerations and past research on conservation, ecology, and wolf social dynamics were left out of this part of the Mountain Caribou Recovery Implementation Plan (MCRIP) and an apparent pre-determined agenda which encourages killing wolves has been exposed.

Sadie Parr, director,

Wolf Awareness Inc.

 

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

(TNRD Library)
Let the mystery of the Summer Reading Club begin

Are you ready to ‘Crack the Case’ at the Barriere Library?

(Metro Creative photo)
Gardeners of all ages invited to enter 2021 NT Fall Fair contests

The North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thru scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4,… Continue reading

Milsom Lodge was built in the East Barriere Valley when the Milsom brothers purchased two parcels of land in 1911, DL 2323 and DL2324. (Milsom’s photo)
The Milsom Lodge: The mansion, the ballroom, the history

“At the turn of the century, when so many families were leaving… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read